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Ship of the Dead
an Omega Days novel
by John L. Campbell
Berkley Books, $15.00, 360pp
Published: October 2014

What would you really do if a zombie virus turned most of the planet’s population into ravening undead? Where would you go to be safe while you sleep? Who would you risk your life for? Who would you dare trust? For what would you be willing to stand and fight? Of all the zombie books I’ve come across, this series seems to get to the heart of those questions the best.

Everyone is changed by the virus’s onslaught, because even the people unaffected by the virus itself have to change radically, drastically, in order to survive. Gentle people like Father Xavier and emergency medtech Rosa learn to fight, resourceful Angie West has to go places where her skills aren’t enough to protect her, and tough ex-con Carney – don’t you love how allegorical the names are? – has to choose between the loyalty of the prison yard and the Law of the Jungle. This story is all about what people lose, what they save, what they choose, and what they discover in themselves and, most surprisingly, in others.

Getting to a zombie-proof place is the essential thing, and a ship at sea is the obvious solution, but getting to one without importing the virus, and supplying said ship for a duration that would make Moses’s time seem like a pleasure cruise, is a major, all but hopeless, undertaking. ~~ Chris R. Paige

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